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Hey guys, recently inherited a '93 325i ~75,000 miles, not in the best shape cosmetically, fairly well maintained (regular maintenance etc...).

As the title alludes to, my question is regarding an intermittent tranny issue that was described to me by the previous owner (whom I got a very detailed accounts from) and that I have experienced with seemingly increasing frequency.

Here goes:
Intermittently when coming to a full stop from the 10mph to 0mph range (what I believe is the tranny downshifting) gives off quite a bit of vibration and makes the car slightly jumpy until it comes to a full stop. After fully stopping and trying to accelerate again it won't leave 1st gear (ie I can't get above 10-15mph and tachometer indicates overrev). However the workaround for this while driving is after coming to a full stop it is put in park, brake is released then reapplied and then put back into drive, issue is at least temporarily resolved.

Here's where it gets a bit stranger, the previous owner had this exact issue and brought it to 3 places to attempt to identify where issue lies, 1st place (a transmission specialist) quoted tranny rebuild, 2nd place (bmw service center) advised them that they could "sort of see" the issue and that they had 2 options: the first was to buy a new tranny through them (~$7000) :thumbdwn: the other was driving until issue worsened and addressing then :thumbdwn::thumbdwn:. Finally the 3rd place, a repair center owned by a family friend of the previous owner, sent it to his tranny guy where they flushed and redid the tranny fluid, checked the pan for metal scrapings and nothing was found nor could the issue be recreated in exhaustive testing. This all took place winter of '09-'10. From that time owner continued driving and didn't observe issue at all over an 8-10 month stretch. They took long (300-400 mile) roadtrips during that time and had no issues. Then seemingly correlated with the weather starting to become cold again the issue gradually reappeared. At first sporadically but then with more and more consistency. This is the reason I was able to inherit this ride for next to nothing...

Presently here is what I've observed in the ~3 months I've had it. Issue doesn't happen every time car is driven regardless of temp, the old workaround of putting into P releasing brake and putting back in D no longer works 100% of the time, new issue has appeared which is that it will stick in whichever gear it was last in while braking from higher speeds (so for example I could be in 3rd gear, issue will happen while braking just enough to downshift into 2nd and upon trying to accelerate once more it feels to be stuck in 3 seen via difficulty accelerating and revving with a lower pitched sound). After this happens when coming to a full stop the same jumpy downshifting is felt and will generally stay stuck in 1 after. This new issue tends to happen when coasting around shift point. To clarify what I mean by coasting, just driving at a consistent speed and having the pedal partially down just to maintain speed.

The only other potentially relevant detail is the car has had work done as a result of two frontal collisions, the first and more significant (aside from bodywork) required a new coolant reservoir, and air intake. The second just required some body work and only impacted the front R headlight and R front 1/4 panel. Previous owner says issue never happened before 2nd repair.

:yikes: I know that's a lot of info but I've been doing quite a bit of online research and bothering all my friends who are mechanically inclined about what they think, so I really just want to be as concise as possible.

There was a very interesting link I found via a post on this forum about the "gear shift sensor." I'm not totally certain what this is but is it the toggle switch next to the shifter to switch tranny between auto and manual mode.

Also although I'm not sure it pertains quite so much as the above article but I also came accross this one.

Last I'm in the greater NYC area and if anyone can recommend a good spot with mechanics who are good with these older euro imports I'm searching for someone reputable. I haven't been able to find anyone who I feel I can trust with diagnostics and more advanced work.

Any input on this would be extremely appreciated.

-J
 
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